Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day Two of the Interview With Author Richard Warren Field

Welcome back to the interview with Richard Warren Field.

Richard Warren Field lives in Southern California with his wife and two children. His recent historical novel, The Swords of Faith, won a Bronze Medal at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Historical Novel/Military category. He has also co-written Dying to Heal, a novel of alternative medicine, with chiropractor Dr. Alan Fluger. Recently, two of his essays were published in the Opposing Viewpoints series (see Richard Warren Field's Internet Column for details - More biographical information is available at

A reader once asked me this question, and I thought it was a good one. Is there ever a time when you feel like your work is truly finished and complete?

A writer can always find something to edit, whether it’s the first draft or the hundred and first draft. Once the published version has been settled, it’s time to stop editing, let go, and move on to the next one.

Describe your workspace.

Workspace. I don’t really have a set workspace. Reading books for research and reading drafts for revision (I still like to work with hard copies and enter the changes into the computer later) I usually do reclining in my bedroom with a red pen in my hand and my stereo playing. I can take a book or manuscript with me anywhere and often do to complete this type of work. I write first drafts by hand in pencil, and use voice recognition software to enter the words into my computer. (Voice recognition software catches about three-quarters or so of the words—I edit in the corrections immediately.) I do not like spending long hours writing and editing at a computer.

Describe your dream workspace.

A dream workspace? I wouldn’t change much of what I do now.

If you could be a character from your favorite historical novel, who would you be?

I don’t really think that way—imagining I’m someone else. I do sometimes wonder what I would have done in some historical situations, or how I would fit into a particular time period. At present, I like to look for common ground among the various faiths. (My published essay, “Demonizing Islam is Both Wrong and Foolish,” demonstrates this.) How would I have accomplished this at the time of the “Third Crusade?” The answer to that question seeps into my telling of The Swords of Faith. And, how would I have faced living within the walls of Baghdad when the Mongols arrived in 1258, almost certain to take the city and kill everyone inside? That plays out in the opening chapters of The Sultan and the Khan.

What is the biggest misconception the general public has about authors?

That publication is the endgame, the proof of author success. As writers know, it is the beginning of a whole new set of challenges.

What is the biggest misconception beginning writers have about being published?

It takes time to learn and understand just how crowded the market is.

What would you like readers to gain from reading your book(s)?

First, I’d like my readers to be entertained by history too strange to be fiction. But after that, I am fixated on the idea that there is certainly more than one path to God for the righteous, “good,” human being, and that recognizing and embracing this truth could fundamentally change our currently troubled world. This is a major theme of The Swords of Faith, and I find that the evolution of how this idea is perceived through history brings continuing insights.

Cindy's comment: Thanks for making that clear. It's good to know where you are coming from so that everyone can decide for him/herself whether your book's theme is something they are interested in.

Thanks for joining us here on Favorite PASTimes. Any final words for readers or writers?

Thank you for hosting this interview and book giveaway. The Swords of Faith has proven to be a worthy book, winning three different awards. As I try to say whenever I have a chance, I’m extremely grateful to small press Strider Nolan Media, specifically Michael Katz, for recognizing the quality of The Swords of Faith and taking it on for publication. (Strider Nolan Media also has an Independent Publisher Book Award for a novel they released in 2009, so I’d like to think they have good taste!)  The hardest part of this has been getting the word out. My publisher warned me that small press books struggle for attention. Blogs like Favorite PASTimes help to do that, and I know I speak for other writers when I say thank you for what you do.

Come back tomorrow for the answer and the completion of the interview with Richard Warren Field. Leave a comment by this Friday, 8AM EDT, for a chance to win a copy of Richard's novel, The Swords of Faith. Be sure to leave your email in your comment this way: name at domain name dot com.

1 comment:

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